Suppose you could go back in time 100 years. Imagine that you suddenly found yourself in London, in 1912. What would you do first? Stare at the buildings, take a ride in a hansom cab? Maybe buy some stamps or collect a few coins to take back with you? Go to a book store to buy first editions, or maybe a newsstand for the latest Sherlock Holmes story? Dash over to the British Museum to see what treasures they have brought back (plundered) from Egypt or India?

But suppose you saw a poster, “Mr. Arthur Edward Waite and Miss Pamela Colman Smith will speak about their recently published ‘Rectified Tarot Pack,’ Atlantis Book Shop, Museum St., this evening.” Might that be your first choice? And as you rushed excitedly to the Atlantis, what would be in your mind? What would you want to ask?

Maybe you would ask whose idea it was to have action scenes on all the cards. Or how those scenes were chosen. Were they based on some over-riding idea–the Holy Grail for the Cups, Masonic myth for the Pentacles, as Mary Greer has suggested–or were they derived from the fortune telling meanings they were meant to illustrate? Or was it all based on the Kabbalah Tree of Life? Or maybe you’d ask about the mysterious “stages” that some characters seem to be standing on. Or whether the Court cards were based on actual people.

Most of all, you might want to ask, “What truths can I learn from these cards? What will help me become a better reader?”

Well, as far as I know, no time machine is available (unless, of course, H. G. Wells should show up in his own invention and say to you “Quick! Get in, we’re going off to meet Waite and Smith”), but something along those lines will be happening in just a few days at the Omega Institute


The third annual Omega Tarot Conference will be held July 27-29. Mary Greer and I have been teaching at the gorgeous Omega campus every summer for 24 years (we might be Omega’s longest-standing teachers). Two years ago Omega asked us if we would like to host a conference, the two of us plus three other teachers.

This year our theme is “Readers and Deck Creators,” with Caitlin Matthews, creator of the Arthurian Tarot and many others, in a rare American appearance, Robert Place, creator of the Alchemical Tarot and many others, and possibly the supreme Tarot artist in the world right now, and Joanna Powell-Colbert, whose Gaian Tarot has been leading Tarot readers around the world to new and profound insights into what the cards can teach us. And of course Mary Greer, who worked with Ed Buryn on the William Blake Tarot, and myself, creator of the Shining Tribe Tarot, and the Vertigo Tarot, with Neil Gaiman and inspired artist Dave McKean.

So–what would you ask people who actually create the decks? What could you learn that would make you a better reader–no matter what deck you use? How could you see the cards–again, no matter what deck you prefer–in new and dynamic ways?

I have to say, I am excited every year when we do Omega, but this is special. There has never been a Tarot conference quite like this before. At the same time, this is not about the teachers, or how we made our decks, or what they mean to us. As with every Omega Tarot class for the past 24 years it’s all about the participants. How you can become a better reader. How you can develop a new relationship with the cards. How you can discover the Tarot’s deeper messages, and what they mean in your life.


And now, as they say on late night television–Wait! There’s more!

5 days more, to be precise. Immediately following the weekend conference Mary and I will be teaching a Monday to Friday workshop, Reading Tarot Cards With Magic and Wisdom. We will be drawing on the wisdom of the Tarot’s ancient traditions but also the individual wisdom of each person’s life. And we will experience the magic when the cards come alive in a reading, when the cards act as an opening for intuitive understanding to pass between the reader and the questioner.

Come for the weekend. Come for the five day. Join us at Omega for a wonderful experience!

Here is the link for the 5 day:  http://eomega.org/workshops/omega-tarot-conference

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 1:02 am  Comments (9)  

The Tarot–GPS For The SOUL In Catastrophic Times- Webinar on November 17, 2011

Searching Out Unknown Layers

Will the world we know collapse?  Will a new one arise?  And if such huge changes happen, could we use the Tarot to guide us through catastrophe to rebirth?  This is the theme of my new book Tarot In Magical Times, written with famed German Tarotist Johannes Fiebig.  In it we look at the Tarot as a prophecy of transformational change and a promise of rebirth–whether for our world as a whole, or in our individual lives.  But this is not my only new book.  Soul Forest, a collection of articles written over two years, has recently appeared.  Inspired by my earlier work, The Forest Of SoulsSoul Forest explores the many ways we can use the Tarot to explore the mysteries of existence, from readings inspired by the sacred festivals of many cultures, to a reading about contacting dead spirits, to a reading that asks the cards to help us grasp the horrors of the Holocaust.

Come join us as we let the Tarot guide us to new dimensions! Click here for more on this Global Spiritual Studies webinar!

Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 1:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Soul Forest: Twenty Four Tarot Writings is now available for Pre-Order!

Soul Forest is now in print and ready for pre-order from Tarot Media Company. Here is a excerpt from the Introduction just to give you a taste of this wonderful work.

“This book recounts a series of adventures. Like a character in a fairy tale, each month, for a couple of years, I would set out from my little cottage in the woods to explore the forest, or search underground caves for treasures. I would set out with hardly any provisions, but with my loyal dog Wonder beside me (I actually do have a dog named Wonder—sometimes allegories are true), and a map that changed every time I looked at it. That map was the Tarot.

Let’s switch metaphors. Any Tarot reading contains two components, with a third that connects them and brings them to life. The first is the question, for no reading can exist without one, even if the question consists of nothing more than “What’s going on today?” The second is the answer, which is to say the cards that come up when we shuffle the deck.

The third element, which joins the two and brings them to life, is the reader herself, or more precisely the reader’s intuition, intellect, and imagination. Without the reader’s response, Tarot cards don’t say anything at all, they are just mass-produced four color drawings on plastic coated card stock. But notice something here. It is not just up to us to interpret the answers, we also get to ask the questions. And this, as they say, is where it gets interesting. The Tarot becomes a treasure map when we ask it to show us treasures. In this book I have tried to ask the cards to reveal to us treasures of the soul.”

You can pre-order the book from Tarot Media Company and I will sign them. I am premiering it at San Francisco Tarot Symposium 20th Anniversary where I will be speaking and sharing more from this work on August 27 and 28, 2011. For more information about SFBATS click here.

Hope to see you there and I hope you enjoy Soul Forest.

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,


Spring and Summer mark two major events in my year. April 27-30 is Readers Studio, one of the Tarot world’s great tribal gatherings.

Several hundred people come from all over the country, and many other countries as well, to attend presentations by major speakers, evening workshops, breakfast discussions, private readings, impromptu deck exchanges, and just hanging out in the hotel bar.

I’ve been a featured presenter at Readers Studio three times, but this time will be my first time doing an evening workshop. I’m very excited about the topic—doing readings using only the Major Arcana.

I’ve actually been exploring this subject for several years, inspired by a simple need. There are many very beautiful and fascinating Tarot decks that consist only of the 22 Major Arcana cards (also called trumps), as well as numerous decks where the Majors are alive with imagery and symbolism but the Minors seem little more than an afterthought. Now, there certainly are spreads designed just for the Majors, but these usually focus on large issues, and primarily spiritual themes.

Here is a three card spread I made up some years ago.

1 3 2

Card 1, on the left—Spiritual history—what energy have you been experiencing?

Card 2, on the right—Life Challenge—what is coming up for you? This can be something you would really like to see (maybe the Lovers card, for a new relationship, after a History as the Hermit), or something you might want to avoid (the Devil, for an addictive relationship).

Card 3, in the middle—Gift—what Spirit, or the Universe, gives to you that will help you meet the challenge. For example, the Empress might help you either realize your Lovers relationship, or else be in charge of your emotions and thus not fall under the Devil’s sway.

So there are ways to look at big issues with Majors only. But what of readings that are detailed, close up, and practical? In the Saturday night class we will try out different techniques as well as share some wonderful Majors only cards

Readers Studio is also my favorite place to show and sell the necklaces I make. Here is a recent one that I especially like.

Readers Studio is the end of April. At the end of July comes the wonderful week at the Omega Institute, with Mary K. Greer—a decades-long partnership! This year, as last, Mary and I will be hosting a week-end conference, July 29-31.

The theme this year is Tarot: Fate and Free Will. This is an age-old question, and we are excited to look at in depth with three terrific teachers: Marcus Katz, from England, author, teacher, and founder of Tarot Professionals and the networking site, TarotTown; Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, from Oregon, creator of Tarot of the Crone; and legendary Toronto Tarot reader and teacher, James Wells.

This will be followed by a five day intensive class, July 31-August 5, The Art of Becoming A Great Tarot Reader.

Last summer Omega recorded short videos of Mary and myself talking about our love of Tarot. You can watch mine here

and Mary’s here.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Readers Studio and Omega!

Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 4:48 am  Comments (4)  

Forty-Six Years at the Omega Institute

This summer, Mary K. Greer and I will once again be teaching at the legendary Omega Institute For Holistic Learning, in Rhinebeck, NY. (Yes, for those who know a little about me, this is indeed the town where I live. Omega is no more than six miles from my house, and yet, I always stay on campus when I teach there, it is simply a great place to be.) This will be my 22nd year at Omega, and Mary’s 24th. Together that makes 46 years of Omega experience.

And this year will feature something very special. Usually, Mary and I will teach a weekend class—Friday evening to Sunday afternoon—and then a five day, Monday morning to Friday lunchtime. The topics are different, so that many people who come for the weekend decide to stay for the five day as well. A couple of months ago the programming director for Omega called us with an idea. Why don’t we host a forum of top Tarot teachers, a weekend conference of the best in modern Tarot?

Click here for details!

Mary and I loved the idea and began to brainstorm whom we might invite. After some discussion—there are quite simply so many wonderful teachers and writers—we came up with our A list. And amazingly, every single one of them said yes! Here’s our dream team:

Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone (lovingly dubbed RAWA by Tarotist Ferol Humphrey), the founders of the New York Tarot School. Wald and Ruth Ann are brilliant in their literally encyclopedic knowledge of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and endlessly inventive in finding new ways to use that knowledge in people’s readings and lives. And they are the creators of the amazing Readers Studio, an annual festival where I have taught three times, and Mary will be teaching for her third time this April. It’s a pleasure to turn the tables and invite them to speak at our event!

Juliet Sharman-Burke, possibly England’s pre-eminent Tarotist. Juliet is the designer of the Mythic Tarot, the New Mythic Tarot, and the Sharman-Caselli Tarot. She is also a wonderful teacher.

Lon Milo Duquette, brilliant magician, Tarotist, expert on Aleister Crowley and the Thoth Tarot, and one of the funniest people in the world. It is always a pleasure to see and teach with Lon, and it will be doubly so at Omega.

Finally, in talking about the wonderful group of teachers who will be at this event, I want to take this chance to say that Mary K. Greer is the Tarotist I most admire in the world. Endlessly inventive, generous of spirit, passionate about Tarot on all levels, and a genuine scholar of Tarot’s convoluted history. I have learned more from her than anyone else. Her Tarot blog is simply indispensable.

And finally, here once again, is the link for the event itself:


Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm  Comments (4)